Apr 2, 2019 - 5 months ago
By Supply Post
BC Ferries has won the Shippax Retrofit Award for completing the conversion of
a large passenger ferry from diesel to liquefied natural gas (LNG). The award, received in March
at the Shippax Ferry Conference, recognizes the innovative work performed on the Spirit of
British Columbia, which is among the largest passenger ferries ever to be converted to natural gas
propulsion. It is also the first passenger ferry in the world to refuel LNG via delivery on a fully enclosed vehicle deck.
“We are honoured to receive this award and to be recognized by our peers for our
innovation and commitment to adopting clean technology that reduces BC Ferries’
environmental footprint,” said Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ President & CEO.
The Spirit of British Columbia was the first of the two Spirit Class vessels to switch to
greener technology. The conversion to natural gas required replacement of four main engines
with new dual-fuel engines, installation of a large LNG tank beneath the main deck, and
development of an innovative fuel bunkering system.
“By using natural gas to fuel the two Spirit Class vessels, BC Ferries expects to reduce
CO2 emissions by 12,500 tonnes annually, which is the equivalent of taking approximately 2,500
vehicles off the road every year,” Collins adds.
BC Ferries is an industry leader when it comes to adopting new technology that lowers
emissions. The Salish Class vessels, introduced in 2017, were the first passenger vessels in the
world to refuel LNG on an open vehicle deck using proprietary tanker truck technology. BC
Ferries and its partners developed both of these innovative solutions.
The Spirit of British Columbia’s conversion to LNG took place during its scheduled midlife upgrade between the fall of 2017 and early 2018, at Remontowa Shiprepair Yard in Poland.
The ferry’s sister ship, the Spirit of Vancouver Island also completed its upgrades and natural gas
conversion and will re-enter service between Victoria (Swartz Bay) and Vancouver (Tsawwassen) this spring.
The Shippax Awards recognize and celebrate new concepts, creativity and innovation
within the ferry, cruise, and shipping industry.